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Research Assistants

The Impact of COVID-19 Related Business and Social Restrictions

From March 2020 to early 2022, state and county governments in the US have introduced a variety of policies to reduce virus transmission and deaths. These include: stay-at-home orders; general business closures; specific closures targeting bars, restaurants, gyms and spas; visitation policies at nursing homes; mandatory mask orders; park and beach closures; and limits on the size of gatherings. Which of these help curb fatality growth?

I am looking for research assistants to gather data on county and state-level business and related restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. The work requires on-going and detailed reading of Governor and County Commissioner orders, news outlets, and other sources available on the web. (A lot of which is really, really dull!) The main goal of the RA work is to determine whether and when various restrictions are imposed and lifted by regulators (for example, when restaurants were banned from indoor seating or when indoor capacity was set at 50% for gyms) for all 3,000+ counties in the U.S. and to provide the relevant links to the source(s) of any information entered into the database. (Did I mention this is often very dull? It can also be tedious.) I expect anyone taking one of these positions to spend at least a couple of hours per week working in person in my office.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications

The work requires a large number of web searches and a willingness to email and call government authorities. No programming skills are required, but a very high level of attention to detail is crucial. An interest in business and health policy is also helpful.